NRO’s Charlotte Allen blames the Sandy Hook massacre on a lack of men

What would have saved the women and children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting? Men, says the National Review’s Charlotte Allen. In her contribution to the NRO’s “Newtown Answers,” Allen’s answer is that women are the reason that 26 people were killed that day.

There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred. In this school of 450 students, a sizeable [sic] number of whom were undoubtedly 11- and 12-year-old boys (it was a K-6 school), all the personnel — the teachers, the principal, the assistant principal, the school psychologist, the “reading specialist” — were female. There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers. The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. Some of the teachers managed to save all or some of their charges by rushing them into closets or bathrooms. But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel. Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

… Cops and everybody else encourage civilians not to try to defend themselves when they are criminally assaulted. This is stupid advice. There are things you can do. Run is one of them, because most shooters can’t hit a moving target. The other thing, if you are in a confined space, is throw things at the killer, or try a tackle. Remember United Flight 93 on 9/11. It was a “flight of heroes” because a bunch of guys on that plane did what they could with what they had. They probably prevented the destruction of the White House or the Capitol.

Allen acknowledges that Dawn Hochsprung heroically activated the school’s PA system and then lunged at Adam Lanza — before being mown down by his assault rifle. And yet a bucket-wielding male janitor or “husky” 12-year-old boy is expected to throw himself in front of a spray of gunfire, and that is supposed to save the day. In fact, there was a male custodian at the school who ran through the hallways, warning teachers about the gunman and giving them a chance to take cover. But he was meant to turn into a man of steel whose body can stop a bullet. That is the requirement for real heroism. That didn’t happen because of feminization.

Allen dismisses the teachers who herded their classes into closets and cabinets. They could have instead attacked Lanza head-on, at which point they would have been killed and their students would have been left vulnerable. There are doubtless several teachers who are wondering even now what would have happened if they’d tried to take out the shooter themselves. There are probably even some 10-year-old boys (Sandy Hook actually only goes through fourth grade, not the sixth) who wonder if they should have done something. If they should have been “man enough” to take Lanza on.

Sandy Hook first-grade teacher Kaitlin Roig says that as they sheltered in the bathroom, one of her students said, “I know karate, so it’s OK. I’ll lead the way out.” This is the thinking of a six-year-old. It’s the bravado of someone who thinks she knows better than law enforcement officers who have seen over and over again the results of untrained civilians who try to turn and fight instead of fleeing. To Allen, masculinity means throwing yourself wildly into the fray, senselessly risking your life and the lives of those around you because the wise course isn’t “aggressive” enough. Better dead than “feminized.”

It wasn’t a lack of men in Sandy Hook that resulted in those 26 deaths, and it wasn’t a lack of God. We don’t actually know what caused it, and we’ll probably never understand it entirely. But we do know that in addition to the 20 children who died at Sandy Hook School, 430 made it home to their families. Hochsprung, school psychologist Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, and the other teachers who placed their bodies between their students and an armed attacker acted just as bravely as any former high-school football player could have done. And to insult their heroism and the heroism of the teachers who saved their students’ lives by not doing the “masculine,” “aggressive” thing — to indicate that if they’d only been men the tragedy could have been averted — is ignorant and cruel and a reprehensible strike at a community that’s already taken more than anyone could expect them to take. Charlotte Allen, shame on you.

179 comments for “NRO’s Charlotte Allen blames the Sandy Hook massacre on a lack of men

  1. December 20, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Well, I really don’t see why you’re getting so angry about this, Caperton! We all know that a good mat of chest hair stops bullets.

    • December 20, 2012 at 2:00 am

      Relevant clip is relevant:

      (Or does this only happen to Indian men? I GUESS WE KNOW WHY INDIA’S SHOOTING-FREE NAO)

      • tholbrook
        December 20, 2012 at 3:49 pm


      • miga
        December 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        I need to watch this movie now.

      • Arind
        December 21, 2012 at 3:39 am

        I am an Indian dude and believe me that’s just the tip of the iceberg ;)
        and i know about the guy in the video , supposedly has his own temple and the second most paid actor in asia

      • December 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

        Perfect clip! :)

  2. Henry
    December 20, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Everything is fodder for the propaganda mills these days, even a senseless tragedy. Ms. Allen should be writing about the lack of funding that prevents school districts from having armed guards (only 1/3 of US school have these, and Sandy Hook had none). After the Norway massacre and this case, we should be doing something to protect large gatherings of children, not using it for political points.

    • Past my expiration date
      December 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Because what we really need to spend money on in schools isn’t teachers and education, it’s armed guards?

      • Henry
        December 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

        Yes. Because we have a problem in this country…there are piles of weapons out there, and lots of violent individuals. Until that gets solved, yes I want a police officer at every school. We have police at other places where people gather like sports games, airports, train stations, etc. and no one complains that they are a waste of resources.

        This country has plenty of money – instead of wasting it on joint strike fighter aircraft that cost 1 billion dollars each, or hiring cops to bust people for drug use, we could spend it on something that might save 26 people.

      • Liz
        December 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

        Columbine had an armed guard.

        I would be interested to know how many of the schools that do have armed guards are elementary schools.

    • December 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

      Ah yes. Fight guns with more guns.

      • Ryan
        December 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

        So what is your answer? Gun control in a country with a significant love of guns is going to be much less effective then in countries that have centuries old traditions of heavily-regulated firearms.

      • December 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

        Well, if we want a “centuries-old tradition of heavily-regulated firearms,” might as well start now instead of waiting even longer.

      • EG
        December 20, 2012 at 4:53 pm

        It’s hard to see how having gun control is going to be less effective than not having gun control in a country with a significant love of guns.

        But sure, if we have the option of switching to having a centuries-long tradition of gun-control, I’m in favor. You build the time machine, and I’ll figure out where to intervene first.

      • Henry
        December 21, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        You make gun control effective by requiring actual licenses to acquire weapons. When the car/truck/motorcycle was invented they quickly saw the need to license every vehicle on the road and regulate who could drive what and what age, training and assessment was required for each vehicle. You cannot drive a car in the USA without approval from a state official who sits next to you and watches you drive. But, you can buy an AR-15 as long as you are not a convicted felon – this is absurd. If they put a real effective license scheme in place, as the current population ages, the next generation will have to comply with it. That’s how you build centuries long traditions of gun control.

    • rain
      December 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

      I’m gonna steal me some Donna L and say the sheer, blithering stupidity of your comment is astounding.

      • Henry
        December 21, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        Common sense truly is uncommon in your case rain. Let’s wave the rain(TM) magic wand and make the guns all disappear from the USA tomorrow. Children don’t deserve police protection in your world, just have whoever survives the next attack dial 911 to pick up the bodies.

    • hellkell
      December 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Yeah, MOAR GUNS is totes the answer. If you think armed guards in schools are a good idea, this country is fucked.

      • Henry
        December 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm

        This country got fucked when gun ownership became having massive stockpiles of guns & ammo floating around completely unregulated for over a century. Even if you ban all the assault weapons and crap and collect them all (good luck) you can still do a hell of a lot of damage with 6 bullets and a revolver. Pull your heads out of the sand, in the last poll 47% of US households had a firearm. I don’t trust 47% of my neighbors to be nice peaceful people who would never lose it and assault a group of kids. 1/3 of schools already have armed guards/police, they just aren’t the ones many of the affluent people posting here send their kids to.

    • miga
      December 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      I went to a middle school where they sometimes had those metal detectors and guards who went through your bags. Certainly didn’t make me feel any safer.

  3. Donna L
    December 20, 2012 at 1:39 am

    In the wave of disgusting columns, Charlotte Allen’s comes close to being the worst.

    Think of what Sandy Hook might have been like if a couple of male teachers who had played high-school football, or even some of the huskier 12-year-old boys, had converged on Lanza.

    The sheer, blithering stupidity of this comment is astounding. What would it have been like? Husky 12-year old boys? They would have died, that’s what it would have been like. And wouldn’t have saved anybody. There were plenty of men in the movie theatre in Aurora. What happened? They died, too.

    • December 20, 2012 at 2:02 am

      In the wave of disgusting columns, Charlotte Allen’s comes close to being the worst.

      Yep. I think the worst was the one that blamed it on Title IX, but this comes close. Honestly, I can’t even respond seriously to it, as a serious response would involve too much profanity to make it past the mods. Sarcasm’s about all I’ve got at this point.

      At least until the trolls turn up.

    • matlun
      December 20, 2012 at 7:00 am

      Everyone else have demolished other parts of the article. I just wanted to comment on this

      Cops and everybody else encourage civilians not to try to defend themselves when they are criminally assaulted. This is stupid advice

      No. It is normally good advice, it is just context dependent and you need to apply some common sense to this general rule.

      If for example someone is robbing you, this is typically very good advice. Just give them the money and get out of the situation unharmed.

      If someone (as here) is actually trying to kill you, it can of course be very bad advice to be passive, but that situation is much more uncommon.

      • matlun
        December 20, 2012 at 7:01 am

        Why did this appear as a reply here? It was supposed to be a new top level comment, and it looked like that when I wrote it.

        Stupid threading system :(

    • December 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Because sometimes I like to torture myself, I read all of them. Terrible.

      One guy started off okay, but then started in on putting women who have ‘procured an abortion’ into that list of people who have made horrible life decisions and my eyes nearly rolled out of my head.

    • de Pizan
      December 20, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      Additionally on the whole “sizable number of 11-12 year old kids” who should/could have taken the shooter out….Allen didn’t do even the most basic research into the school before writing her article. This was a K-4 elementary, not a K-6 school as she states, so there wouldn’t have been any 11-12 year old kids on site. And there was a male 4th grade teacher and a male janitor, both there; so you know, that’s 2 adult males on the school premises that day.

      • matlun
        December 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        Even if she had been right about that, it would still be a bloody stupid thing to say.

        How is she visualizing this to happen? This group gets together and organizes the attack in the very short time available in the chaotic and panicked atmosphere? Note that this group decision would be along the line of “if we all rush him, he will not have time to kill all of us”. Does she really believe that this type of action is something that happens in a realistic scenario? (Again – it would also need to happen within just a few minutes of time)

        And also, the situation may not make it physically feasible. He may be inside a room away from the door. There may not be a clear path to actually do the rushing.

        She clearly has an extremely unrealistic picture. Too many Hollywood movies, perhaps?

      • de Pizan
        December 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

        Exactly. After the Virginia Tech shooting, there was a reporter saying something similar and that people should have rushed the shooter because the gun(s) in question didn’t do a lot of “damage” even in close range and knowing the type of gun, how many shots have already been fired and how many bullets the clip holds is something everyone instinctively knows apparently.
        Yes, it has happened, like in the Tucson shooting that 3 people were able to subdue the shooter when he was reloading (and one was seriously injured doing so); but that’s when they were able to see the shooter, knew that he actually was stopping to reload and that he wasn’t just pausing to find more victims, and could see that he didn’t have any more guns on him. When it’s a shooting inside a building, and people are trapped in a separate room and the shooter is on the move and so sounds are changing from closer or farther away, do they honestly think someone can count the shots, especially with all the panic and noise around them, and know from sound what kind of gun he’s carrying and every other factor to weigh the odds of running out there or not?

      • Henry
        December 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        She’s clearly watched “Children of the Corn” one too many times or thinks male children can be trained to be Ninjas. p.s. girls are able to rush shooters too (they come with legs too), with similarly useless results.

        The whole article is a transparent attempt to score points in the war between left and right instead of looking at the problem we and other countries (e.g. Norway) have (people shooting up schools and other gatherings of children) and proposing a logic functional way to address it.

        Ditto to the left (Pelosi) that has jumped on the let’s pass feel good legislation banning this and that particular gun without any mechanism to address the overall issue of gun violence. NJ’s assault weapons ban has done exactly zero for Newark in the 30 years it’s been on the books, even though it was the direct result of gangs using M-1 pistol grip rifles to shoot up street corners in Newark. Real working gun control and protection for school children will cost money and take effort and thinking.

    • Lolagirl
      December 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Yeah, all I got is fuck Charlotte Allen. Seriously, fuck her. What with her not-so-subtle victim blaming, to the gender essentialism and on to her nasty case of White Knight syndrome. Her column is just one big bucket of disgusting armchair quarterbacking.

      Also? I hate the National Review. That is all.

  4. Donna L
    December 20, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Also, elementary schools have been feminized? What? When was this mythical time that elementary schools in the USA were filled with brawny male kindergarten teachers ready to charge through brick walls and stop speeding bullets? Never, that’s when. I went to elementary school a long time ago, and didn’t have one single male teacher from nursery school through sixth grade; the only ones in the school were the science teacher and, of course, the shop teacher. My son didn’t, either.

    • Unree
      December 20, 2012 at 2:07 am

      Super creepy because even if Charlotte Allen could wish-propel all women out of elementary schools, these women would have to go somewhere. Deny women jobs and they’d be scattered in relatives’ homes, I guess, but that takes a lot of money out of the economy which presumably the NRO wouldn’t like. Maybe a quota on women in any workplace, no more than a third for example. No environment could be feminized. But rightwingers don’t like quotas either.

      What then? Lock women up and force them to work in a concentration camp? And then if an armed intruder managed to enter the camp and kill them, would Allen blame their feminized environment for their deaths? Or does she think that women shouldn’t be allowed to exist anywhere? The mind reels.

      • Computer Soldier Porygon
        December 20, 2012 at 3:59 am

        “Super creepy because even if Charlotte Allen could wish-propel all women out of elementary schools, these women would have to go somewhere. ”

        The cornfield?

    • Radiant Sophia
      December 20, 2012 at 6:24 am

      Similar, except the one male teacher in the elementary school I attended taught art. He was mercilessly made fun of by most students.

      • PrettyAmiable
        December 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        I can think of two or three male teachers in my elementary school (two taught fifth grade classes, but I had the only woman); the one I did have was also an art teacher which I think is interesting – but he got promoted to principal while I was still in school.

    • December 22, 2012 at 2:12 am

      All those Catholic schools run by nuns are just begging to be shot up

  5. Echo Zen
    December 20, 2012 at 2:04 am

    You know you’ve written a crap article when even the comments on a far-right extremist site are eviscerating your shaky grasp of facts, and human decency. (There was indeed a janitor onsite, though he proved insufficiently husky to stop a bloke with body armour and multiple weapons from doing his mass murder routine.) Normally I don’t bother with giving hits to Charlotte’s nonsense, but this time the comments do restore faith in humanity.

  6. i. lucia
    December 20, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Charlotte Allen’s comment, or at least what we’ve seen/heard of it, is ill-advised. Still, if we’re careful, we learn more from enemies than friends: Sociologists have compiled massive quantities of non-biased data revealing the factor that correlates most highly with juvenile violence is growing up in a fatherless home. Yes, yes, yes, yes: I know there are PLENTY of exceptions. Still, the data suggests good male role-models, i.e., those who love their kid enough to stay, could be playing a major role in healing our society by standing alongside our youth. Instead, the trend is in the opposite direction, with men increasingly being seen as – and believing that – they are superfluous. Is that an indictment of women? No, it’s an indictment of men of the “wham-bang-goodbye ma’am” variety. We women need to have sufficient pride in ourselves that we refuse to open our legs for losers, ones who are not worthy to stay around for us, nor for any tots who might result from the union. If this sounds heterosexist, consider my advice is aimed at the (at least) 90% of us who are indeed attracted to men. It is also aimed at lesbian couples who would be wise to utilize grandparents, uncles, friends and community leaders who could serve as positive male role models to their children. And yes, because so many of our kids lack a close, committed male in their lives, a worthy cause would be that of attempting to achieve at least a partial male/female gender balance among staff in our schools. Remember: It takes a village (a theme originating in Africa, not from Hillary Clinton.) And villages tend to offer a balanced gender setting (and, for that matter, role models of a wide range of ages.) Would men, who are after all, on average physically stronger and more aggressive than women, have been able to strong-arm Adam Lanza into submission? Maybe. Maybe not. However, in looking at the wider issue of youth violence, social problems and mental health, we need to start assigning more value and importance to the positive role that men could be playing — once women put our collective foot down and demand support and commitment from our “baby dads.” That would require a more radical version of feminism than we’ve seen thus far.

    • Donna L
      December 20, 2012 at 2:38 am

      Remarkably enough, Adam Lanza did NOT grow up in a fatherless home; his parents were divorced only a couple of years ago.

      refuse to open our legs for losers, ones who are not worthy to stay around for us, nor for any tots who might result from the union.

      Equally remarkably, it isn’t always possible to know in advance of having children who’s going to turn out to be an unworthy “loser” and who isn’t.

      Would men, who are after all, on average physically stronger and more aggressive than women, have been able to strong-arm Adam Lanza into submission? Maybe. Maybe not

      Stop the nonsense, will you please? See my comment above concerning the myth of a Golden Age of bulletproof male kindergarten teachers.

      put our collective foot down and demand support and commitment from our “baby dads.”

      Or else what? You think demands aren’t already made on so-called “deadbeat dads”? Are you suggesting that divorce be made more difficult? Whom do you think that would hurt?

    • librarygoose
      December 20, 2012 at 2:45 am

      This is the stupidest bullshit I have read, and I read the fucking article. My nephew’s chances of being a violent offender are drastically lower now that his mother is his sole caretaker. Funnily enough, once she left the man that beat her and him, he really started to act out less. Fucking reality, how does it work. eh?

      • Donna L
        December 20, 2012 at 2:49 am

        Yes, I forgot to mention in response to i. lucia’s comment that guess what, it isn’t always the man who wants or needs to leave; women aren’t always passive actors.

    • Elena
      December 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

      I’m trying to think which of these shooters were from fatherless homes, and I can’t. Virginia Tech, Gabriel Giffords, Columbine, Aurora. All from intact marriages. But let’s keep trying to find a way to blame women.

    • EG
      December 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Would men, who are after all, on average physically stronger and more aggressive than women, have been able to strong-arm Adam Lanza into submission?

      No. Because Lanza had lots and lots of guns and ammo. One of the reasons guns and ammo have been so effective over the years is that they are more effective than quite a lot of unarmed–or armed with knives/swords–strength and aggression.

      I like how lack of a male role model is the cause of all these shootings, so the people to blame are obviously…women. Surely if lack of a good male role model is to blame, we should direct our injunctions to step up and do right to men?

    • lalouve
      December 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      We women need to have sufficient pride in ourselves that we refuse to open our legs for losers, ones who are not worthy to stay around for us, nor for any tots who might result from the union


      Yes, because my sexuality is a commodity with which I buy male support. Or maybe I’ll keep ‘opening my legs’ to people I find sexually attractive, and make sure I’m in a position to deal, on my own, with any ‘results from the union’ – which includes making sure any father pays child support. Incidentally, the connection not lasting or the man in question being in financial strains does not make him a loser, which is also a hateful way fo efining any human being.

      • EG
        December 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Right? Here I thought “I want to fuck him” was a good criterion. Apparently I need to be requiring some financial credentials first.

      • December 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        Yes, but then you’re a heartless gold-digger!

      • December 22, 2012 at 2:16 am

        Credit scores to score

      • tomek
        December 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        Yes, because my sexuality is a commodity with which I buy male support. Or maybe I’ll keep ‘opening my legs’ to people I find sexually attractive

        one and of same. the men you find sexualy attractive is one which will be able to best support you.

        also a guy what doesnt stick around the raise child is loser. it is his duty. he is going to make child and then leave woman to raise on her self? what kind of man does this! take his reponsibiltiy he should.

      • EG
        December 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        one and of same. the men you find sexualy attractive is one which will be able to best support you.

        Tomek, looking back over my life, I have to say, no. You’re just wrong. The men I have found sexually attractive are not the ones who can support me financially; sadly, they have only been the ones who support me emotionally only about half the time.

      • December 20, 2012 at 4:02 pm

        the men you find sexualy attractive is one which will be able to best support you.

        Clearly what I need is a push-up bra with a penis. All the support, all the time!

      • Miss S
        December 20, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        one and of same. the men you find sexualy attractive is one which will be able to best support you

        Tomek, this is golden. I might spend the rest of my life laughing at the absurdity of this statement. If only….

      • tomek
        December 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

        well it might not work perfect. but by the way the biology is works, the guy what is most attractive is SHOULD be the guy who manages to best have success and take the risk in helping raise the child.

      • EG
        December 20, 2012 at 6:56 pm

        That’s not actually how biology works at all, tomek.

    • Briznecko
      December 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      We women need to have sufficient pride in ourselves that we refuse to open our legs for losers, ones who are not worthy to stay around for us, nor for any tots who might result from the union.

      Damn those slutty slutty slut-sluts! How dare they have sex before seeing the future!

    • Alara Rogers
      December 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      True fact: most women open their legs for guys they like or love or at least trust.

      The solution to fatherless children is not: women, magically sense when a man is going to turn out to be a major league douchebag! It is: men, stop being douchebags; everyone, stop putting the blame on anyone but men who are douchebags that abandoned their children for the phenomenon of male douchebags abandoning their children.

      Are there things that we could do as a society? Yes. The concept that if there is a man in the house, he will magically make money rain from the sky, is not just sexist and harmful to women, it also produces this phenomenon of father-ignored children. (They’re not fatherless. Their father is just ignoring them.) Because we have laws that say that if a woman lives with a man she can’t get aid for herself and her children because her man is supposed to do that; thus, men are forced out of houses they would otherwise be raising children in, BY LAW, because the legal system thinks that men magically produce money out their asses. (So do all the rightwing philosophers who blame poverty on a lack of marriage, of course.) And men who become unemployed are more likely to abandon children in the incorrect belief that their only worth to their children is their ability to provide, and the kids are better off without them if they can’t provide for them. They’re also more likely to commit suicide than unemployed mothers and more likely to engage in domestic violence than employed fathers or any kind of mothers.

      So, you know, we could stop it with the sexist belief that men exist to make money happen and women are congenitally incapable of making money happen without a man around, and recognize that an unemployed man who makes sandwiches for his kids and walks them to school while his girlfriend/wife/baby mama works to provide for them, or collects WIC for them, is no less of a man than a man who has a job. This would dramatically cut down on children being father-ignored. We could also stop jailing black men for looking too black or being in the presence of a police officer while black. Many children are de facto fatherless not because their father was a loser, but because he was unlucky enough to be sent away for many years for a crime that a whiter or richer guy would have gotten a slap on the wrist for and which shouldn’t be a crime at all, or because he was even more unlucky and was fingered for a crime he’s totally innocent of. And in this case the father isn’t ignoring the kid, he’s being kept away from the kid against his will.

      But in the end, the responsibility for children who were raised with no father rests primarily with fathers. Mothers have no responsibility for children being raised without fathers unless they shot the father in question, or kidnapped the kids and ran off to another state because they’re just mean people (which is almost never the reason why mothers kidnap kids BTW). Women cannot see the future, we do not have magic character-sensing powers where we can detect that a man is going to be abusive or neglectful before we get involved with him, and it’s a bit rich to be blaming *women* for sticking with a job that two people ought to be doing and doing it solo if they have to, when the reason they are doing it solo is that the person who was supposed to be doing it with them isn’t.

    • miga
      December 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Mitt Romney? Is that you?

  7. Martin Dufresne
    December 20, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Allen writes: “There was not a single adult male on the school premises when the shooting occurred.”

    Actually, there was one. One too many.

    • December 20, 2012 at 3:02 am

      Zing. Nailed it.

      • esoteric turtle
        December 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

        The best reply I’ve seen to this column so far was, “There was a man there. He was the one shooting all the children.”

      • Alara Rogers
        December 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        I was about to say that the problem wasn’t a lack of men, but the presence of a man… but you guys beat me to it.

        There actually are a lot of good reasons to have male elementary school teachers and male role models for school children, but “cannon fodder in case of school shooter” is not one of them.

        At least the people who argue that the kindergarten teachers should have been packing weapons of their own have an argument that *seems* to make some kind of sense. The argument that the school lacked enough men to stop a man with assault weapons… uh, if all it took to stop a man with assault weapons was the presence of another man, wouldn’t that make warfare, where most of the people with assault weapons are men trying to stop each other, go very differently than it does?

  8. Marksman2010
    December 20, 2012 at 2:19 am

    Yep, men are bullet-proof.

  9. Martin Dufresne
    December 20, 2012 at 2:20 am

    The Right’s rapture with manhood is best exemplified by this advertising campaign for the gun used in the Sandy Hook massacre:

    • Angie unduplicated
      December 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Businesses spend heavily on Big Data and psych research to sell their wares.
      Looks like Bushmaster pushed the big button on this one. He had to prove he couldn’t be intimidated by a six-year-old. Scary.

  10. December 20, 2012 at 2:54 am

    The end of the article is also pretty incredible. Allen chastises Nancy Lanza for giving a 20-year-old with a disability “free reign” of her home. She says that parents of mentally ill or troubled young men (or, presumably, young men with disabilities) are “enablers” for allowing those young men to live in their homes if they’re unemployed, and they should kick them out. Because that always ends up so well.

    FAMILY VALUES, right?

    • Radiant Sophia
      December 20, 2012 at 7:48 am

      I’m sorry, but the end of the article is tantamount to calling for suicide as the solution. Kicking mentally-ill people out of their homes, with no support structure, is simply asking for them to disappear. It’s what has always been done to the mentally-ill, and I suspect it will always be that way.

      • December 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

        Don’t apologize. You’re right.

      • William
        December 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

        +1. Theres no need to apologize for calling out someone who is calling for a Ship of Fools.

      • karak
        December 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        It also doesn’t address what to do in those rare cases when you’ve got someone who’s dangerous or mentally ill and dangerous in your home. Yes, turn your sociopathic child out onto the streets! I’m sure that will all work out fine!

    • tinfoil hattie
      December 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Has there been any solid verification of the murderer’s “mental illness”?

    • tinfoil hattie
      December 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Has there been any solid verification of the murderer’s “mental illness”?

      • December 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm

        Not that I’ve seen.

      • EG
        December 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        I’ve only seen the article Donna linked to regarding his mother taking steps to having him committed.

      • Donna L
        December 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

        That hasn’t been confirmed; like so many other things, it’s based on hearsay about what she supposedly told somebody. Another story just said that she was growing increasingly concerned with his isolation, and encouraging him to get a job, or go to college, etc.

        The only thing that seems to be consistent across all the stories is that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s at some point,

      • thinksnake
        December 21, 2012 at 1:13 am

        Even the ‘diagnosis of Aspergers’ may not have anything to do with reality. As far as I can tell, this part of the story seems to have sprung up fully formed out of the aether.

  11. Laura Tortorelli
    December 20, 2012 at 3:45 am

    A man’s body can stop a spray of bullets from an automatic assault rifle, or any gun, just as easily as a woman’s body. I don’t think the man’s body would win.
    What’s disturbing about C. Allen’s comment is it perpetuates the old stereotype that women are, by nature, “passive” and “helpless.” Therefore, the only way a woman can have control is by placing control in the hands of a man.
    Allen seems to have disdain for “a feminized setting”… “in which helpless passivity is the norm,” suggesting a woman’s place is in the home.

  12. Meowser
    December 20, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Jeebus. The troglodytes have really come out of the woodwork on this one. I don’t know what’s worst: All the ridiculous Dirty Harry fantasies like Allen’s and Megan McArdle’s; all the tighty-righties who think teachers are irresponsible, lazy, God-hating, gay-indoctrinators but still think it’s a great idea for those same teachers to brandish live firearms in the classroom (can’t see what could possibly go wrong there!); or all the people who want everyone with a DSM diagnosis preemptively locked up (and for everyone without a DSM diagnosis who isn’t a super-extrovert to be forced into “treatment,” since only cheerful, bubbly, outgoing people won’t be suspected of being future criminals, and shrinks can always fix that). Anything to avoid having to restrict over-entitled hatebags’ access to unlimited rounds of live ammunition. Bleh.

  13. Stella
    December 20, 2012 at 5:45 am

    The skewed numbers in education are a concern but for different reasons than the ones mentioned. Historically the presence of unarmed men at massshootings did not impact the situation either.

  14. Kxx
    December 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Huh. I didn’t realise that men were made of kevlar.

    • Kxx
      December 20, 2012 at 8:01 am

      Plus, 12 year old boys – now better to have around in a crisis than intelligent adult women.

      • Elena
        December 20, 2012 at 10:57 am

        Yes, I think that was her true point.

    • Past my expiration date
      December 20, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Run is one of them, because most shooters can’t hit a moving target.

      Charlotte Allen thinks that the A-Team* was a documentary.

      *the TV show

      • ColoradoSal
        December 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

        Thank you for giving me something to laugh at in all of this. Seriously. I needed it this morning.

      • hellkell
        December 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        Or “The In-Laws.”


      • Brokenlol
        December 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

        Seriously? This is the only intelligent thing that was said in the entire piece.

        If you can, putting distance between you and forcing the shooter to compensate for your movement is an excellent way to reduce your chances of being shot and is an excellent way of extricating yourself from a situation.

        It doesn’t apply to sandy hook, but in general it is very sound advice if you aren’t in a room or able to access a room that a shooter couldn’t get into.

  15. er
    December 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I’ve decided to skip past disgust and outrage on this one and go right to hilarity. It’s one thing to have a ludicrous, sexist, half-baked thesis that men are magically bullet proof if your data set is one (Sandy Hook). There were male teachers and students at Columbine, who were killed. Men – strong, young, athletic men – aplenty at Virginia Tech, also killed. Men in that grocery store in Tuscon, one of whom was even armed. Men in the movie theater in Aurora. Several of the men in Aurora did exactly what the Sandy Hook elementary teachers did – they used their bodies as human shields to protect loved ones, and died for it. I’m pretty sure there were strong young men at the army base shooting (was in Texas, I’m sorry I can’t remember).

    • December 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Yes, my friend’s dad was at Fort Hood in Texas. He tried to stop the gunman, and he was killed.

      • Angie unduplicated
        December 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

        At one of these mass murders, it was a servicewoman who took the shooter down. A fool like Allen, though, probably would be hollering “Bikini check”.

      • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        December 22, 2012 at 12:18 am

        Or at best, saying she “seemed to perform bravely”, like a woman’s courage is just pretend stuff and one can’t really believe it, ‘cos only men and boys are really brave.

    • Tim
      December 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

      I kind of know what you mean. Allen’s article and McArdle’s suggestion that we teach kindergartners to mass-rush shooters are practically satire — the Onion might have come up with something like this, but it’s getting harder and harder to even do satire.

  16. Wendy
    December 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Ms. Allen watches too many action movies.

  17. Laura T
    December 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I wanted to post this on The National Review site, but disqus sucks (it doesn’t work). So, I’ll say it here:
    Hush, hush sweet Charlotte–you’re a fool.
    Why are you out and about making statements? Women are incompetent. Remember? You must be married because a female has no strength or authority without a man. Why aren’t you home, washing your husband’s floors?

  18. Stella
    December 20, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Well it was just one author. Everyone else is lauding the heroism of the dead women and how well the teachers reacted whom kept their children out of harms way. So its a case of googling something till you found that one article that makes your blood boil.

    • Donna L
      December 20, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Hardly. The National Review is a prominent right-wing publication, and Charlotte Allen is one of its stellar examples of punditry. No googling necessary to find her.

      • Stella
        December 20, 2012 at 9:55 am

        Just saying the opinion portrayed by that woman is far from the mainstream and there are lots of shootings sprees to see that unarmed men wouldnt have made much of a difference.

        However now there are already schools which allow their teachers to carry concealed weapons and after that fact has been portrayed on mainstream media I am sure more schools will think about it.

        I am sure if the captains of politics and industry lost children in shooting sprees there would have been serious changes by now, but as long as this big buisness costs only the lives of the Ford driving middle class nothing will happen, or something will happen and then it will be undone and the public will pay top dollars for the available again weapons, the way it happened with the assault rifle ban and unbanning.

    • December 20, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Yeah, I came across it entirely by accident on my Twitter feed before Caperton posted this.

    • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
      December 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

      Stella, this is one of too many right-wingers and men’s righters saying that the shooting was women’s fault.

    • December 29, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Even if it’s a minority viewpoint, it still needs to be addressed, and I’m glad it was here. I don’t read that publication but I read this blog to stay informed of feminist issues, and this is definitely one of them!

  19. MrRabbit
    December 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

    This is just so offensive. What a way to belittle the adults who died trying to protect their pupils. What a way to appropriate this tragedy for antifeminist ends.

    Charlotte Allen needs to take a deep breath and think about how what she writes could add to the distress already felt by the Sandy Hook community and the loved ones of the victims.

    • PrettyAmiable
      December 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      What a way to belittle the adults who died trying to protect their pupils.

      This. So much this. And to pretend that their bravery and heroism simply didn’t measure up is absolutely disgusting to me.

    • PrettyAmiable
      December 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      What a way to belittle the adults who died trying to protect their pupils.

      This. So much this. And to pretend that their bravery and heroism simply didn’t measure up is absolutely disgusting to me.

  20. Lauren
    December 20, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Of the ridiculous, offensive suggestions by the right on how to prevent the next public massacre, this is probably the most offensive because something about it hits me so close to home. As the mother of a husky 13-year-old who is a black belt in TKD and who wouldn’t hesitate to try to save the day, I can only pray that if (if!) he were ever in this situation an adult would be there to reign in his bravado.

    Boy children are not human meat shields, and this romanticization of them sacrificing their bodies to save… people who aren’t worth saving in Allen’s opinion… is so offensive I want to spit and claw out my eyes.

    • Lauren
      December 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

      There is just so much about this that makes me want to scream. I can’t even put it in a coherent word form. Please assume lots of cursing and exclamation marks and red pen.

    • EG
      December 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      Agreed. I have no idea whether or not my godson will be “husky” when he reaches twelve or thirteen, but I know he will be twelve or thirteen when he reaches twelve or thirteen, and so it would be disgusting and unthinkable to suggest that it would be acceptable for him to get killed rather than be protected by adults. That is our job, as caretakers, to protect the children we’re in charge of, not to send them into any lines of fire.

      • Lauren
        December 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        Ugh. I hate the term “husky”. But I know that my big kid with broad shoulders and years of self-defense training wouldn’t hesitate to try to protect his friends. That a grown fucking woman with a national platform wants to encourage him on some kamikaze mission because [masculinity] makes my skin crawl.

  21. A4
    December 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

    There is some merit to the idea that diversity of adults in our elementary schools would be a good thing.

    But saying “we need more men because men are really good for stopping shooters” is like… so far from that idea it is contradictory.

    Teachers should find themselves in elementary school because they specialize in teaching, not for their socially imposed role in Publicly Approved Child Nurturing and Protection.

    Women do not become teachers to mother and nurture children. Men do not become teachers to provide money and protect children with their man strength.


  22. Tempy13
    December 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    I have been reading and nodding and jumping around in agreement with your blog, Jill, for a very long time. I wanted to take my time to learn the extent of my priviledges before I wrote something so I could genuinely converse here.

    This article (which I found yesterday through Shakeville) made me tremble with rage. It is so obscenely disgusting, even for the likes of Charlotte Allen and the National Review. The utter lack of compassion, the outright inaccuries and the frenzied attempt to blame this atrocity on women (because it is ALWAYS the fault of women) is so shameful and disgusting.

    I wonder if CA realizes that the scarcity of men in elementary education (K-4) could be due to the fact that these teachers are paid next to nothing on the salary scale of teachers! Because…it is traditionally perceived to be a female job to teach children at that age. Ergo, the pay sucks. Of course some men love being teachers for that age group, but patriarchy definitely has an opinion of men that do those jobs, and it is hardly positive.

    None of the teachers were “passive” that day. They used their brains and knowledge to save as many children as possible. No amount of former football player muscle or burly 12 year old boys skin can deflect bullets.

    @ i. lucia-I don’t know in what world you think the “90%” (WTF?) of heterosexual women and lesbians are tossing any positive male role models out in the snow in some collective secret plot to make men “superfluous” in the life of children.

    Every sentence in this article makes my blood boil with fury.

    • Datdamwuf
      December 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      you certainly nailed the reason there are few men teaching elementary school.

  23. SlimWiggy
    December 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    If anyone has a direct email for Charlotte Allen, I would love to have that to write her a more direct comment. Thanks in advance.

  24. Darcy
    December 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I am a soldier. More specifically, a medic. I am explicitly trained to use my body to shield that of my patients. I am drilled on this, graded on this, and I expect this as part of my job. I am also specifically trained to take on someone who is firing at me. Granted, I do it with a weapon and body armor of my own. If I landed in the middle of a fire fight unarmed and unarmored, some *other* soldier would be shielding *me*. I went through grueling and extensive training to learn to overcome my natural reactions to danger in order to do this. I have to continue to train in all of these things regularly.

    I can tell you from personal experience that bullets don’t care what gender you are. They will kill you regardless. If there had been male teachers there to rush the shooter, we would just be mourning male teachers.

    Teachers are not soldiers or cops. We shouldn’t want to turn them into soldiers or cops. Our schools should not have to look like an Army base in Iraq. We come up with ideas like “Hire more men” or “Arm the teachers” or “Bring back school prayer” because it’s easier than looking at our society and asking what it is about us that causes/allows this to happen. We, as a society, are fostering and nurturing this type of sickness, and we have decided that it’s easier to mourn the inevitable deaths than to find the sickness and try to fix it. Do I know the answer? No. But I know that I am living in a violent, gun-obsessed culture that underfunds mental health care and stigmatizes those who seek it to the point that it’s often harder to get well than to stay sick.

    • EG
      December 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Beautifully said. Thank you.

    • December 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you. Excellent comment.

    • Kasabian
      December 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      Well said, well said.

    • December 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Well said.

    • December 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you, Darcy. That was really eloquent.

    • December 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      Big heaping loads of THIS.

    • December 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

      Very well put, Darcy, Thank you.

    • December 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you for this comment — and thank you for what you do.

    • theLaplaceDemon
      December 20, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      I wish I could give this comment a giant microphone.

    • Datdamwuf
      December 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      thank you

  25. William
    December 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I think one of the most important things we should be thinking about in the wake of these tragedies in the ways in which toxic masculinity create spree killers through a sense of violence and entitlement. I’m glad someone is writing about it. That said, I was nodding along with you all the way up until

    It’s the bravado of someone who thinks she knows better than law enforcement officers who have seen over and over again the results of untrained civilians who try to turn and fight instead of fleeing.

    The whole civilian/LEO division aside, I really feel its necessary to reject the idea that somehow cops Know Better. For many of us they are not heroes or sources of safety but violent predators who serve as the blunt end of State-Sponsored oppression. Yes, we can all clap and cheer when they manage to kill a school shooter, but that sense of relief is somewhat tarnished by the knowledge that the same tribe shoots children in the back, tortures young black men into confessing to murders they did not commit, rapes suspects with broom handles, and routinely ignores sexual assault complaints. If we want to say that turning to fight is a bad idea, that Charlotte Allen’s sheepdog fantasies are foolish and disgusting, fine, but lets not pretend that the police are somehow better than those they oppress because the state has given them permission to beat others into submission. The vast majority of their violence never has, and never will, be aimed at school shooters.

    • EG
      December 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      I don’t think it’s necessarily a question of Cops Know Better. I think it’s a question of the fact that cops, unlike most non-cops, get significant training in how to handle someone with a gun. Whether or not the police are a force for good or evil is not the issue; the fact that they have more expertise in dealing with gun-firing murderers is.

      • William
        December 20, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        Many police departments don’t do Active Shooter training of any kind because its expensive, time-consuming, and the vast majority of police won’t ever encounter one. Police marksmanship and qualification requirements are laughable. Hell, the last time I checked the NYPD only budgeted around 100 rounds for their officers to use each year in training against stationary targets. Thats not even two hours range time. Sure, SWAT teams sometimes get that kind of training, but your average first responder is just a bully with enough legal training to figure out what ze can send a black kid to prison for and enough official backing to protect zir from the consequences of roughing up the insufficiently deferential.

      • Donna L
        December 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

        None of what you say has any relevance to the issues being discussed in this thread. Seriously. Cops may not be particularly well-trained to handle spree killers armed with semi-automatic weapons (although it seems to me that it’s generally SWAT teams that show up to these things, not so much your average street cop), but they’re sure as hell better-trained than “husky 11-year old boys.” That’s the point.

      • William
        December 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        I agree, I just have a pretty big problem with the police/civilian mentality. We can talk about more than once thing at once, after all. Hell, I’d argue that it isn’t even really more than one thing, given that this bullshit hero worship we lavish on thugs in blue has it’s roots in the same ideas about masculinity and aggression that led Charlotte Allen to fantasize about husky children or a sufficiently manly staff member taking down a gunman.

    • December 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      I used law enforcement officers because that’s what Allen used in her piece, but really you could swap in self-defense instructors, martial arts instructors, bouncers, bodyguards, or anyone else who comes in contact with untrained individuals in dangerous situations. When they recommend that a person run instead of trying to fight, it’s because they’ve seen what happens to people who think they can fight but can’t.

      I had a karate instructor once who said that in a mugging, a yellow-belt would often be in the greatest danger — because an untrained person would be more likely to run, and a well-trained fighter might be able to successfully fight off an attacker, but a fighter with just a little bit of training would be likely to overestimate his or her competency and take on a vastly superior combatant.

      • jrockford
        December 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

        I’ve been doing Judo for about 8 years now. One of the jokes my lead instructor has with new students, when we’re doing self-defense portions at the end of the class, is to say to new students “Pretend I’m pointing this imaginary gun at you. What do you do to defend yourself?” People try any number of crazy tricks. They’re then of course informed that they all answered incorrectly, the correct answer is, “run away.”

        The greatest thing you learn in martial arts is to have a “throttle.” Meaning, you have the patience to use no force at all or to use only what force is necessary.

      • December 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        Yeah, I had an instructor who would start off by saying ‘Want to know your best bet in self-defense? This.’ and then run out of the room.

        When he came back he’d say ‘Now, if you can’t run away…’

      • matlun
        December 20, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        Running away can also be a bad idea – depending on whether the attacker is prepared to just shoot you in the back.

        In a serious situation, virtually always the first priority should be to deescalate the situation as far as possible. Talk him down, give him your money, whatever works in the situation. And avoid panicking and doing something stupid.

        But if you are in a situation where you actually have to fight, then rushing the guy with the gun might be better than trying to run away depending on the situation, distance, and other factors such as your relative physical strength and skill. I am not convinced I agree with the “answer” of your instructor.

      • December 20, 2012 at 7:10 pm

        My kids took martial arts for a time. Their instructor said the same thing, several times throughout the course. Very helpful, since kids really have no clue that they aren’t ready to take on an adult after a couple lessons.

      • William
        December 20, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        An absolutely fair point. I’ll admit I’m a bit on edge when it comes to words like “civilian” being used as the opposite of “police,” especially when the police in our country seem to be constantly militarizing despite falling crime rates. I don’t think we’re likely to see many changes with gun laws or mental health access or school safety as a result of this shooting, I do think we’re likely to see a lot of police departments sell ever more aggressive policing tactics using tragedies like this as cover for the latest bit of unaccountable violence they want to be able to unleash on people without the political clout to protect themselves.

      • Miss S
        December 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm

        It’s made me a bit on edge too. Yes, the cops did save lives in this situation, and that should be applauded. That does not mean that the world is safer if only the police have guns. That’s not a sentiment I’ve seen here, but certainly elsewhere on the Internet.

        Not when these’ armed, well trained’ officers use black men women, and yes, children, as target practice. They may enjoy saving the lives of white children in the suburbs, but they don’t do that everywhere.

      • Miss S
        December 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

        As a note, my comment wasn’t directed at anyone on this thread, but in response to things I’ve seen elsewhere.

  26. de Pizan
    December 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    And then there was Melissa McArdle in the Daily Beast:
    “I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.”

    Because teaching 5-12 year old kids to run towards gunfire is what we really need to solve the problem.

    • EG
      December 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Holy shit. No fucking way am I teaching any children in my care that they should rush at a shooter. Their 4-8-year-old bodies aren’t going to stop anything, and they shouldn’t be trying to.

    • Lauren
      December 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm


    • nerfulness
      December 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      To be fair to Melissa McArdle, I interpreted that quote as a rhetorical device to point out that a ban on assault weapons, as we currently define assault weapons, is probably not going to be effective. She’s proposing a solution that is patently ridiculous, and that she knows sounds patently ridiculous, in order to show that another solution that is being commonly presented is even more patently ridiculous. I don’t think she actually expects elementary school students (or anyone, really) to rush a shooter.

      Here’s her full quote:
      “My guess is that we’re going to get a law anyway, and my hope is that it will consist of small measures that might have some tiny actual effect, like restrictions on magazine capacity. I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.”

      • December 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

        Not to nitpick, but her name is Megan McArdle. And knowing her writing, I don’t think that quote was a rhetorical device at all. I think she’s quite serious.

      • nerfulness
        December 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

        Ah. This is the first time I’ve ready any of her work, so I’m not familiar with any of her stances on various issues. I thought she made some relatively good points in her article, even if it was pessimistic. But if she has a history of writing gun-nuttery, then maybe she’s just trying to stop any attempt at gun control.

        And thanks for the nitpick, actually, I’m kind of embarrassed I didn’t catch that…

      • de Pizan
        December 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm

        Nitpick away, I’m not familiar with her and forgot to check I had the name right before posting. I knew it started with a Me…

    • Donna L
      December 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

      If she’s serious, then she’s as much of a blithering idiot as Ms. Allen. 8-10 6-year olds rushing a shooter armed with semi-automatic weapons are going to “bring him down”? What? Even if she’d said 8-10 unarmed elementary school teachers, I wouldn’t buy it.

    • Donna L
      December 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Look, the only child I’ve read about who survived in one of the classrooms where Lanza shot children is a little girl who played dead — the one who emerged covered with blood and said to her mother, “I’m OK, but all my friends are dead.” Heartbreaking. And she was very fortunate that his bullets missed her, and/or he didn’t notice her. Nobody unarmed, not the biggest, toughest football player in the world, could have done any better.

      • EG
        December 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        Oh God, that’s horrible. That poor little girl. I can’t imagine what she’s going to have to go through.

      • December 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

        Oh, that is just heartbreaking.

  27. December 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Why do I get the feeling that if a feminist had written something like this people would be talking about double standards and calling her a [REDACTED] who wanted to kill all men?

    • RacyT
      December 20, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      You are probably correct… but I can’t imagine any feminists I’ve ever read actually writing this drivel. So.

  28. Kasabian
    December 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    The hardest thing to accept in this world is how truly powerless we are. Men are taught from an early age that they should be ‘strong’ and ‘powerful.’ So when a madmen guns down a bunch of people, we all like to go aside and say, “well, if ‘I’ had been there, it’d be a different thing entirely.”

    We’re so wrapped up in this mythology of personal strength when the simple fact is that nothing really stops an AR. A box-cutter on a plane? Maybe. But not an assault rifle.

    It’s hard to accept how powerless we are; and that the most powerful thing we can do is to ban the things we are -all- powerless against.

    • Clytemnestra's Sister
      December 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm

      –triggery comment folks.

      A friend of mine has a degree in refugee studies. At a conference she went to, there was a session on the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in Uganda, including a film. Militia members would repeatedly gang-rape and assault women in front of their husbands or fathers, who were forced to watch on their knees with a rifle pressed to their heads. Some of the men were bound and gagged while this was going on. The explicit purpose of this violence was to break the will of the men to fight against the militias–if they couldn’t protect their wives, if they couldn’t keep the ones most dear to them from horrific violence right in front of their faces, how could they fight?

      It worked, and continues to work. So there goes the idea that maybe if there had been a Real Man ™ in the school, none of that would ever had happened.

      Firearms are the greatest power broker the world has ever known. Bullets are little lumps of lead that don’t distinguish based on age or what is hanging between somebody’s legs.

    • bleh
      December 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Yes, yes, yes. We (I) find it truly disturbing that we are simply powerless in this and many other situations. This inability to cope with powerlessness causes so many problems.

  29. Alara Rogers
    December 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Allen’s got it all wrong. The problem wasn’t a lack of men; the problem was a lack of Kryptonians.

  30. matlun
    December 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I wonder if this is a side effect of the relative peacefulness of current society.

    Many people, like Allen, are privileged enough to have absolutely no experience with serious physical violence, and much less deadly violence. As a consequence she has an extremely poor picture of the realities of the situation.

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  32. shfree
    December 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    So, Allen somehow thinks it would be preferable for a classroom full of children to witness a teacher or classmates brutally murdered than be herded away and hidden safely from a gunman? Because that is exactly what would have happened if someone(s) charged him, particularly children. It isn’t like he had the ingrained moral code that killing children was a horrific act.

    The responders who led the children out had them close their eyes as they walked out of the building so they would not be exposed to the further trauma of seeing the bodies of other students and and teachers. So how would it make things better to expose them to even more violence? She sucks mightily.

  33. Nanani
    December 20, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    All I can think of upon hearing that sickening suggesting re: “husky 12-year-old boys” is that I’m pretty sure there’s an international treaty banning child soldiers.


  34. DAS
    December 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    In re running: remember the decision when faced with a threat is not “fight or flight” but “fight, flight or play dead” (and, as a biochemist, I can go on and on about all the molecular level stuff that goes on when an animal is threatened). I know that you can hardly believe what you here on the news, but supposedly at least one student survived by pretending to play dead.

    • DAS
      December 20, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Oops alternate phrasings recombined in my head as I was typing: that should be either “pretending to be dead” or “playing dead”.

  35. Calioak
    December 20, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    This is just disgusting. The men at the mass shouting a did make a difference. So did the women. There are many people alive today because of what those men and women did. They are just human, not superman. Ditto to everyone else who said boys are not expendible and deserve to be protected.

  36. fan4bronco
    December 21, 2012 at 7:34 am

    I tried to comment yesterday…didn’t seem to get published. I just want to say that while this article is completely offensive to women, it is also completely offensive to men. People like Allen treat men as if they are disposable. They should sacrifice themselves in war, in school shootings, etc. This portrayal of masculinity does a lot of damage to men who don’t live up to this Rambo-esque image. I would say that perhaps this concept of masculinity, a standard most men can hardly live up to, has something to do with why so many of these massacres are committed by MEN. If we expanded our definition of acceptable masculinity (or did away with gender roles entirely for that matter) perhaps there would be less massacres.

    • December 21, 2012 at 11:42 am

      I completely agree. Imagine being one of the ten-year-olds Allen apparently expects to rush a gun-wielding attacker. As if survivor guilt weren’t enough, now this horrible woman is telling them, in essence, “If you weren’t such a sissy, your friends would still be alive.”

      In other news: Parents in Utah gave their 11-year-old son a gun to take to school for protection. Son pulled the gun on a classmate. Indeed, masculine aggression and combat-ready sixth-graders are the answer to school safety.

      • Li
        December 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        There aren’t enough vowels in the world…

    • Lolagirl
      December 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Yes! so much this.

      Fan4bronco, I think you really nailed so much of what disgusts and horrifies me about Allen and her National Review cohorts. Allen is one of those offensively sexist people who expect boys to become cardboard cutout Rambo wannabes once they become adult men. You know, it’s always the MRAs who cry misandry when feminists attempt to deconstruct all of our social constructs around what it supposedly means to be boys and men, but they need look no further than Charlotte Allen and her ilk to find those who are actually guilty of engaging in misandry.

    • EG
      December 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      And not just men–boys. Actual 12-year-old boys are expendable to her.

  37. SMSinTX
    December 21, 2012 at 9:58 am

    This is disgusting. Just disgusting.

  38. bleh
    December 21, 2012 at 11:02 am

    She reiterates – doubles down – today. Calls her detractors unworthy of comment. My blood pressure just hit the roof. Please, please tell me she doesn’t get paid for “writing” this drivel.

  39. December 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Mod note: Comments that include “you probably won’t post this” and “bitch” are guaranteed to get deleted — even if you’re commenting to agree with me. Comments that don’t include those, however, have a good chance of getting through.

    • December 21, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      I’m trying to imagine what kind of comment is both assenting and contains ‘bitch’.

    • December 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Moderation. Should have seen THAT coming.

      • December 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm


      • December 21, 2012 at 1:57 pm


      • December 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

        Have I mentioned lately that I love you?

      • The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
        December 22, 2012 at 12:34 am

        We have two weapons, fear, surprise and an unquestioning devotion to teh Feminist Hivemind …

  40. December 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    A comment on Allen’s DISGUSTING doubling-down over at the NRO:

    “Don’t you know? If a man is shot with an automatic weapon, if it’s a legitimate bullet then the male body has a way of shutting that down.”

    Kathy Fowler, whoever you are, I present you with one (1) internets.

    • pheenobarbidoll
      December 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      We have a winner, folks!

    • Kristen J.
      December 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

      Only one internet? I think that deserves a one year supply of internets.

  41. anna
    December 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    “There didn’t even seem to be a male janitor to heave his bucket at Adam Lanza’s knees. ”

    Aside from the ridiculousness of the idea that this would have stopped a man armed with multiple guns and wearing body armor, is she seriously saying that women are too weak/stupid/passive to throw a bucket? (Notice she doesn’t say “a janitor” but specifically “a male janitor.”)

    “The principal, Dawn Hochsprung, seemed to have performed bravely. According to reports, she activated the school’s public-address system and also lunged at Lanza, before he shot her to death. …But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression…”

    So lunging at a gunman is only seeming to be brave? Yeah, don’t let describing a woman who tried to stop a mass shooting with her bare hands stop you from saying women are mostly helpless, passive little darlings and aggression is an inherently male trait, Charlotte.

    “Women and small children are sitting ducks for mass-murderers.”

    But unarmed men aren’t, which is why men are never killed in mass shootings.

    And then the “husky 12-year-old boys” comment – obviously, it’s reprehensible to suggest that boys should try to take down a gunman. But she’s also seriously saying that they would have a better chance than grown adults, if those grown adults are weak cowardly females. And for that, she needs to personally apologize to all female police officers, soldiers, and firefighters, as far as I’m concerned.

  42. December 23, 2012 at 5:00 am

    It’s worth noticing that the person who wrestled the extended magazine away from Tucson shooter Jared Loughner was a woman, 61-year-old Patricia Maisch.

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